Smart See, Smart Do: Willamette University

Willamette University Star Trees
Photo credit: Frank Miller, Willamette University photographer

When you visit the campus of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, you may come away with stars in your eyes.

A tour of campus includes a stop by the Star Trees. These five giant Sequoias, planted in 1942 in honor of Willamette's
centennial, are some of the tallest such trees on any American college
campus. If you stand in the center of the trees and look upward, the trees create a star-shaped view of the sky. Campus lore says if you kiss your sweetheart under the trees, you are destined for true love. The Salem community gathers every December to watch the lighting of the Star Trees for the holiday season.

From May through the end of August, you can see the stars of Willamette on a campus tour, Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Information sessions are offered at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 pm. The schedule changes once fall semester begins. Check the school's visit information page for current visit and tour information.

To schedule a visit, call the Office of  Admission at 1-877-LIBARTS, or contact them via email at, or through their online visit form. The admissions staff will also arrange class visits, overnight stays, and meetings with professors or coaches. It's best to allow for at least a week's advance notice so appropriate arrangements can be made.

Willamette University
900 State St.
Salem, OR 97301

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Planning to visit Willamette University? Be sure to check out Travel Tips to help you plan your college visit. You may also download or print our free smart college visit evaluation form to help keep track of all of your campus visits.